Salary Outlook with a Marketing Degree

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - December 4, 2017
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Reading Time: 7 minutes

As the US economic outlook is getting brighter, it is expected that there will be a general rise in demand for sales and marketing professionals. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports there will be a 7% increase in demand for marketing managers by 2026, which is faster than average.

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For professionals who want to enjoy high earnings and solid job demand, earning a marketing degree may be a good choice.

Below are five careers that you may choose to earn a good living in the marketing and sales professions.

Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions and marketing managers are responsible for planning programs to increase sales for products and services in all industries. They often work with advertising sales managers, art directors and financial staff to ensure that sales and marketing efforts are the best possible. Common duties for these marketing managers include:

  • Working with staff and the heads of departments on contracts, budgets, marketing initiatives and the choosing of advertising media.
  • Plan marketing campaigns including social media efforts, coupons, contests, etc.
  • Plan campaigns of advertising, such as which type of media to use, from Internet to radio to print media.
  • Negotiate contracts for advertising
  • Develop effective pricing strategies for services and products that are marketed to customers
  • Direct hiring of marketing and advertising staff

As noted earlier, the demand for advertising managers, promotion managers and marketing managers will grow by 9% by 2026. This is faster than average.

As the economy is getting better, more promotional, advertising and marketing campaigns are expected to be needed. Companies are starting and expanding and want to increase their share of the market. These managers are often needed to direct, plan and coordinate marketing campaigns. As new products are introduced to the market, marketing efforts are needed to explain benefits to consumers.

See also 12+ Best Online Marketing MBA Degree Programs

Most of the new jobs in marketing and advertising will be in electronic media. The newspaper and magazine industry will decline in the next decade. Even with the decline, there will be more advertising and promotions managers needed to manage new digital marketing campaigns. Through online media, marketing and advertising efforts can easily reach their target audience. The greater reach can quickly increase the size of campaigns that managers oversee.

The median salary for marketing managers in 2016 was $131,000, and was $100,800 for advertising and promotions managers. Salaries varied according to these different industries:

  • Professional, scientific and technical services: $139,200
  • Management of enterprises and companies: $138,000
  • Finance and insurance: $137,000
  • Manufacturing: $137,400
  • Wholesale trade: $126,700

Sales Manager

A sales manager is responsible for sales and the oversight of the sales team for an organization. They are responsible for establishing sales goals, analyzing sales data and developing effective training programs for sales representative in a variety of companies and industries. Some of their most important duties are:

  • Resolving complaints of customers about service and sales
  • Writing budgets and approving expenditures
  • Monitoring the preferences of customers to determine what the most important sales efforts should be
  • Perform analysis of sales statistics
  • Determine what future sales may be and determine which products and services are most profitable
  • Determine what the discount rates should be as well as special pricing plans
  • Assign sales territories and establish sales quotas

The responsibilities of sales managers will vary a great deal depending upon the size of the company and industry. However, the majority of sales managers are responsible for directing the ways that goods and services are sold and distributed.

Sale managers have to work closely with the managers in other departments in the company. For instance, the marketing department will find new customers that the sales department should target in new sales efforts. Having a strong relationship between these related departments is very important to increase sales.

Sales managers can be one of two types:

  • Business to business sales managers who oversee the sales process between two or more companies. These sales managers may be employed by a manufacturing company that sells products or services to a wholesaler, or a wholesale company selling products to a retailer.
  • Business to consumer sales managers who handle sales between the company and consumers. Most sales managers in this role will work in a retail environment.

The job outlook for sales managers is 7% growth by 2026. This is about as fast as average when compared to other jobs. Employment growth will largely vary depending upon whether there is growth or contraction in that specific industry. Some industries may experience faster or slower growth than others.

A good sales team is always going to be very important for ensuring company profits. As the economy is gathering strength, companies will continue to focus on making new sales. They will want to employ new sales managers to ensure that they stay competitive in the growing marketplace.

Because of the growth of online sales, there is more competition at brick and mortar stores for the best sales management professionals. Companies need to have the best possible sales management to ensure that companies can continue to compete with online retailers.

The median salary for sales managers was $117,000 in 2016. The top 10% earned more than $200,000 per year. It is important to remember that sales professionals often are paid a base salary plus commissions for their performance. Median salaries for sales managers in the top industries were as follows:

  • Finance and insurance: $151,000
  • Professional, technical and scientific services: $141,000
  • Manufacturing: $122,600
  • Wholesale trade: $119,900
  • Retail trade: $85,700

Sales Engineer

A sales engineer is a sales professional who sells and markets complex technological and scientific products to businesses in many industries. While some sales engineers have a marketing background, they have to have an extensive understanding of science and engineering. They also must have a deep knowledge of the technical aspects of the product parts and functions. It also is important to understand the complex scientific processes that allow these products to work.

Their typical duties include:

  • Preparing and delivering technical presentations that explain services and products to current or prospective customers
  • Talking with engineers and customers to assess what the equipment needs are for the company, and also determine what the system requirements are
  • Work with sales teams to understand customer requirements and to offer sales support
  • Renew orders for equipment and arrange for on time delivery
  • Work with clients to modify products as needed to meet specific customer needs
  • Assist clients in solving problems and challenges with equipment that has been installed
  • Recommend better machinery or materials to clients, and show how those improvements will reduce cost or boost production

The tasks of sales engineers are very similar to other sales professionals and sales managers. They have to get the prospect interested in buying a product or service, negotiate the price and close the sale. To do so, the sales engineer will give a technical presentation where they explain the various technical aspects of the product and how it will solve the problem the customer has.

Job demand for sales engineers will increase by 7% through 2026, about as fast as average for all jobs. As more sophisticated products are hitting the market, it is expected that sales engineers will be in higher demand to assist in the sale of products or services.

It is thought that employment growth will be robust for sales engineers that sell computer hardware and software. Robust growth is expected for computer systems design, which will cause significant growth in the field. Also, there should be more demand for sales engineers in independent sales operations. More manufacturing companies are outsourcing their sales needs to such organizations to cut costs.

The median wage for sales engineers in 2016 was $100,000. The top 10% earned more than $166,000 per year. Sales engineer in top industries had these median salaries:

  • Telecommunications: $111,300
  • Computer systems design: $111,000
  • Wholesale electronic markets: $99,400
  • Merchant wholesalers: $94,800
  • Manufacturing: $88,900

Insurance Sales Agent

Insurance sales agents contact prospects and sell various types of insurance, such as car, homeowner’s, life and casualty insurance. Typical duties of an insurance sales agent includes:

  • Contact potential clients to expand sales and customer base
  • Perform interviews of customers to get more information about the financial resources they have and discuss what their existing coverage is
  • Explain what the features are of various insurance policies
  • Analyze current insurance policies and talk about possible additions and changes
  • Customize the insurance policy to suit the needs of the client

Employment for sales agents in the insurance industry will rise by 10% by 2026, which is faster than average. There is more competition today in the insurance industry, and this is leading to more demand for effective sales agents. It is believed that the best job growth will be enjoyed by independent insurance sales agents. Insurance companies are using more brokerages today and less on company agents to keep costs under control.

Some people believe that with so many customers doing their own Internet research about insurance products, there will be less demand for insurance sales professionals. However, agents are still necessary to work with clients; insurance policies are complex, particularly casualty, homeowner’s and auto insurance. Most people do not have the time or expertise to study several different types of policies and make the best choice on their own.

BLS states that the median salary for all insurance sales agents in 2016 was nearly $50,000. The top 10% earned more than $128,000 per year. Keep in mind that many sales agents are paid by commission and may earn a salary plus commissions for each sale. This means that highly productive sales agents can make higher salaries.

Securities, Commodities and Financial Services Sales Agents

These sales and marketing professionals are responsible for contacting buyers and sellers various financial markets. They sell different securities to individuals, provide advice to companies that need investors, and do securities trades. Common duties are as follows:

  • Contact possible clients and present information to explain the different securities products that are available
  • Provide detailed advice on which securities that the customer may purchase
  • Buy and sell stocks and bonds
  • Perform monitoring of financial markets as well as the performance of different securities
  • Analyze the finances of various companies so you can provide purchase recommendations to customers

Securities, commodities and financial services agents buy and sell a wide variety of products. Agents will spend most of their time talking to prospects and customers about different stocks and bonds. Securities can be traded in two major ways: electronically or by an auction setting on the exchange floor.

One of the common types of these workers is the broker, who sells commodities and securities to clients. Another type is an investment banker, who connects businesses that need funds to finance their business, or to expand into other markets.

BLS states that the job market for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents will grow by 6% by 2026, which is about as fast as average. It is believed that the services that investment bankers offer will be in more demand as the economy is continuing to get stronger.

The US will continue to be the world’s major financial center, so this means that economic growth will continue to be focused here. Also, the population of the US is growing older, and fewer Americans retire with pensions. So there will be more demand for sales agents who sell securities and commodities.

The median salary for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents was $67,300 in 2016. The top 10% earned $208,000. Many sales agents in this profession earn a commission that is based upon the value of the products sold. Trainees often earn a base salary until they develop a base of clients. At that point, the salary starts to drop and the agent will rely on commissions only.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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